The president and CEO of USA Gymnastics resigned Thursday amid a widening scandal over sexual abuse allegations by dozens of athletes against dozens of coaches and a longtime doctor.
The newspaper's initial report claimed that at least 368 American gymnasts have been subjected to abuse from coaches spanning a period of two decades.
Hundreds of young women have come forward and claimed abuse by the doctor since he joined the sport's governing body in 1996 - including 2000 bronze medalist Jamie Dantzscher and former US rhythmic gymnast Jessica Howard.
The most high-profile sexual abuse case is that of former USA Gymnastics physician Larry Nassar, who was arraigned on 22 sexual assault charges in February and now faces 25 in total involving girls who were 16 years of age or younger.
In 2015, according to the organization's most recent 990 filing with the IRS, USA Gymnastics had $27.4 million in revenue, and paid Penny $628,000 in total compensation. Perry originally joined the organization in 1999 and oversaw a period of great prosperity for them, drawing in more sponsors every Olympic cycle.
Reports had claimed the USOC Board members believed Penny should resign and the official has now made the decision to leave the organisation. While the search is underway, Board Chair Paul Parilla will lead the organization's operations.
Just Thursday, attorneys representing many alleged victims of Nassar, added 20 more plaintiffs to an ongoing federal lawsuit.
"My decision to step aside as CEO is exclusively to support the best interests of USA Gymnastics at this time". Nasser would often treat the girls alone, sometimes in their bedrooms at the elite Karolyi ranch training camp - which the lawsuit alleges violates USA Gymnastics policy.
Penny had personally reported Nassar to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in July 2015, according to a timeline released by USA Gymnastics, but that report was made five weeks after Penny first became aware of a complaint against Nassar. Sen.
The United States Olympic Committee, which previously said that Penny needed to leave his position as head of USA Gymnastics if the governing body was to have any chance of a fresh start after former team doctor Larry Nassar was accused of sexually abusing athletes, hopes the resignation will force much needed change in the organization. In 1996, after he got his degree in osteopathic medicine at Michigan State University, he was named USA Gymnastics' national medical director and team doctor for US gymnasts at Olympics in Atlanta.
"I want to thank everyone for their support over the years, especially those members who have provided thoughtful feedback as to how we could improve the organisation". I am especially grateful to the USA Gymnastics staff and everyone who has served on the board of directors over the years.